I want to purchase a buy-to-let flat. Where do I start?

I want to put my money into a buy-to-let flat. I don’t need a mortgage, but where do I start?
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Question: I have some savings earning nothing in the bank, so thought I might put the money into a buy-to-let flat as a better option. I don’t need a mortgage, but do need some advice on where to start.

Answer: The type of tenant you expect to have can have an impact on the choice of property you buy and the locality.

For instance, a professional couple may like an apartment or a mews house convenient for commuting, but a family may want a property with a garden close to good schools and parks or
leisure facilities.

Your property can be rented unfurnished or furnished — if it is the latter, ensure you have an inventory of your fittings and contents.

You can manage the letting yourself or use reputable letting agents who would assist you in satisfying the various statutory obligations, such as gas safety certification.

You should enter into an agreement with your tenant, such as an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, and the tenant’s deposit should be protected in a tenancy deposit scheme.

Consider videoing or photographing your property at the start of the tenancy to record its condition.

Do remember that tax is likely to be payable on the rental income and if you sell your property for a profit you may be liable for capital gains tax.

Ideally you want your property to increase in capital value and to yield a good rent.


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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (fiona.mcnulty@footanstey.com)
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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